Well-known local chef joins new Rochdale hospitality company

Date published: 29 June 2020

Local chef Thomas McNeeney has been named as the latest to join Rochdale’s new hospitality company, The Lancashire Hospitality Co-operation.

Building a name for himself over the past eight years at his family run pub, The Oxford, Mr McNeeney was revealed as Business Development Manager and one of the directors of Lancashire Hospitality Co. yesterday (28 June).

This followed the creation of the new company, made known by local businessman Ben Boothman, earlier in the week.

Mr Boothman and his team operate the Flying Horse Hotel, Bombay Brew and the Baum in Rochdale town centre, the Quirky Kitchen catering company, the Crown and Shuttle pub in Firgrove, The Red Lion Inn in Whitworth and the Hare on the Hill in Littleborough.

All these venues will now be under the umbrella of The Lancashire Hospitality Co-operation, with Tom McNeeney at the forefront.

Mr McNeeney said: “For those asking what was next, well, it had to be something worth giving up cheffing for.

“So, the opportunity to help Ben head up an entire hospitality group, to work with some incredible talent across so many venues and to help shape the food and drink of some of Rochdale’s most iconic pubs... I guess that is worth it.

“This kind of position isn’t just a job, for someone who wants to see Rochdale get better and better, for someone who eats sleeps and breathes cooking, and for someone who loves a challenge, it’s a dream come true.

“I love cooking, I’ve cooked my whole life, and now I can really use my skills to better effect with this business opportunity.”

Speaking about his new role, he continued: “It’s a bit scary but exciting at the same time.

“The Oxford will continue to be just as incredible. My mum, dad and sister, who is an amazing chef, are still there as Team McNeeney. It was tough for me to leave as nobody wants to leave a family business, but I have had so much support.

“Now I’ll be involved with a bit of everything with Lancashire Hospitality Co. from the food at each venue and how the menus look, the branding of the businesses, the drinks offering and looking at the strengths of each place individually and how they can complement one another too.

“There really are some incredible people at each of the businesses and I want to build on their talents and work with everyone to build relationships.”

Benjamin Boothman said: “I can’t say how happy I am to welcome Tom to the team.

“Over the years Tom and I have worked on a few projects together and I’ve always admired his work ethic but more importantly both his understanding of our trade and his outstanding ideas.

“Constantly he has been that one person in the trade whom I’d curse at under my breath for thinking of something quicker than me!

“It’s also nice to have Tom working out of Rochdale town centre and assisting the town, as a whole, as we look to build from this horrible situation.

“We made the decision to dig deep and go for it a while ago. This we feel is the only way to protect the jobs of our brilliant staff and keep the outstanding growth of our trade in Rochdale growing.

“We have so many ideas and plans for the company which together, with our already fabulous team of hard-working local heroes, will be a successful one.”

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